Aku no Hana / Flowers of Evil – Horror is Skin-Deep


Aku no Hana / Flowers of Evil Anime EditorialAku no Hana, known in English as “Flowers of Evil” received the 13th spot in my top anime of 2013 post. I am not sure how much I “enjoyed” the show, but it certainly felt unique enough that I didn’t feel like I could avoid mentioning it on the list. Aku no Hana is based on a manga by the same name, which in turns draws its name from Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Fleurs du mal,” a French poetry book. The show’s “protagonist”, Kasuga Takao, reads and prides himself for “getting” the book, which he claims everyone around him is too simple to manage.

Usually I’m wary of adaptations, but I think the series format made Aku no Hana work for me in ways reading it wouldn’t have accomplished, but its failings as well might be unique to the series-form, which I’ll discuss again later. Aku no Hana isn’t a plot-driven, or even a character-driven show as much as it’s an atmosphere-driven show. Not much happens, at least not externally; most of the time is spent on waiting for something to occur, for the other shoe to drop.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be very few spoilers, but not too many, cause not that much happens ;-))

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You Only Have One Shot at My Heart. (First Impressions)

This is something good about media, they (plural of medium) have a discrete length. That is, not just any series comes to an end, or fails to come to an end as the case might be, but each piece, each packet, is of a discrete length. For instance, a DVD only has the episodes on it, a book only has the number of pages within it, a movie is only as long as it is.

A series might comprise several DVDs, and each DVD might comprise of several episodes, and each episode has a distinct length. But what is important I think is the DVD. A lot of it comes to how much effort people are willing to put into things, but also because people want to have given something “a fair shot.”

One shot meme/motivational poster

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Media Month in Review – January 2010.

Well, this month had school, school, and some more school. Anime offerings were a bit sparse, but I made up for it elsewhere. I think this month I’ll make a separate post again for the monetary expenditures, heh. I think I’ll give some items here a bit more details.

This is one of the main sections of the Basterds, who are not really the main characters, if you ask me. It also makes you think (if you watch it in an inquisitive mindset), about who’re “The good guys”.

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Yandere Kanojo Vol. 1 Manga Review

This is the first of a series of manga reviews by yours truly. I’ll be concentrating on off-the-wall stuff that I happen to like, and largely avoiding the really popular stuff that other people have already covered extensively elsewhere. I mostly buy my manga in the original Japanese (at the local Kinokuniya), and many of the titles I’ll be reviewing–including this first one–aren’t yet available in English.

Title: ヤンデレ彼女 (“Yandere Girlfriend”)
Mangaka: 忍 (Shinobi)
Publisher: Square Enix (GanGan Comics JOKER)
Price: ¥476 (US$7.55 at Kinokuniya U.S.A.)
Publication Date: August 22, 2009
Page Count: 144

Yandere Kanojo Cover
Yandere Kanojo Cover

Yandere Kanojo is a gag manga with a very direct, straightforward style. It stars Reina Ryuuzaki and Manabu Tanaka. Reina is the leader of the female delinquents in her school, and Tanaka is a diligent but otherwise unremarkable student. “Yandere” normally refers to a girl who’s sick and twisted (from yanderu/病んでる) but has a flustered, lovestruck, sweet side (deredere/デレデレ). It’s a scarier variant of the tsundere thing that’s become so trendy. Yandere Kanojo doesn’t have a yandere character; instead, the “yan” in the title comes from Yankii (a female delinquent). Reina is this peculiar kind of “yandere,” a mean girl who can kick the crap out of anyone who crosses her path, but can be embarrassed and downright sweet when it comes to Tanaka.
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07-Ghost; Realm of the Slow Bromance.

Well, it’s been a while since our last “Things I Like” post, so now we’ll cover 07-Ghost, a new anime that just ended its first, 25 episode long, season last week. It’s a slow-moving series, based on a still-running manga, but overall, it’s worth it.

07-Ghost Anime review

Protagonist and antagonist of the show.

This is a “Things I Like” post, and as such, it’s not a review per-se, but my thoughts on the series. Spoilers should come as no surprise, but this post will have relatively few if any.
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Figure Friday – August 28th-September 3rd in Review.

Ok, this is the post for the figures and news of the week running from the 28th of August to the 3rd of September. It is a tad late, I do realize. That week had more than its share of news, but slightly fewer figures, so we only have “Four Hot” and “Four Not”. Last week’s post will go up Monday or Tuesday.

And as for this being Monday my time and not Sunday, with such a great semi-final in the US Open between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, what can you expect? :)
For those who wonder, I think I did pretty well on my test!

As always, click on the first photo to go to a page with more details/photos, and click on the following pictures to see a larger version.

Four Hot:


Vocaloid #01 Nendoroid Petite trading figure by Good Smile Company

Vocaloid #01 Nendoroid Petite trading figure by Good Smile Company

 Some more photos on Kumo’s blog.
CUTE overload! I especially like Megurine Luka (with the red hair), and Sakine Meiko, the bopping redhead (orange hair).
Miku Saihate, with the flower (at a funeral?) is also adorable.
Reserve, 6,000 yen. November 2009.
Update: Second shipment opened for reservation right now.

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Media Consumption: August; Main Test Crunch.

Another monthly media consumption post. Yes, this month is rather lean, because I had a lot of studying to do. And I have a lot more studying to do until the 13th of September. After the 13th of September I could return to my wanton consumption of books and anime. Dependant on whether I get a job or not, of course.


  • Ever After: A lovely film. It’s not a great film if you compare it to movies in general, but as a cute fun movie, it’s very good. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. My favourite Drew Barrymore role.


  • Californication Season 1, reviewed.
  • Californication Season 2, aside from the last two episodes which aired in September. Feel free to head over and read the review post of season 1. Season 2 was not as good, but a thoughtful review is forthcoming.
  • House M.D. reruns of season 4.
  • Boston Legal season 4 and Damages season 2, one episode a week. Enjoying both.
  • Didn’t watch it yet, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I found out the last three episodes of Pushing Daisies were released, and I obtained them. One of my favourite series of recent years.


  • Sabriel by Garth Nix. A bildungsroman (coming of age story) which is enjoyable. I notice the pattern in which it was built much more now, on my second read. I need the other two books in the series.
  • Too many philosophy books to mention, and hardly enough.
  • Reading Wheel of Time books 6 and 7 not in order still, when I feel like it I’ll spend the couple hours to fix the connecting parts and finish them in order (this happens when you are re-reading books you’ve read half a dozen times before, you skip to the juicy bits).
  • Ribbon Drive RPG and Mix-CD(!). Not a book for reading, but here it is.
  • No Quarter Magazine #25, for Privateer Press’s Iron Kingdoms setting and games.


  • Rurouni Kenshin 16. Need to step up and finish it this month, not to let it fizzle. Also planning to get back to reading Fruits Basket. Seeing the omnibus at the comic book store helped there I guess.


  • 07-Ghost episodes 1-21 (up to date). I thought the show was slow to begin, well, it was. I found it odd as I thought it’d be a 26 episoder, but seeing as it’s based on a currently running manga series, I understand. But at this rate, it’ll take 500 episodes, dude.
  • Toaru Majutsu no Index(A Certain Magical Index) episodes 1-17. This series has different arcs in them, of varying lengths. It’s an enjoyable series, it has one of my favourite girls in anime (Misaka Misoto), but I’m not sold on it being anything special.
  • Voices of a Distant Star. Short, beautiful. The animation is not as good as I rememebered, but then again, I remembered just the story :)
  • Kannagi season 1. Reviewed.
  • Element Hunters episodes 1-2, reviewed. It was horrendous.

I might still do a review of August in terms of how this blog did, but August, the first full month of posts on this blog saw it receiving 154 comments (including my own) and 1,955 hits. Thank you to all the readers :)

Figure Friday – August 21st-27th

We have some news and sales for you at the bottom, so be sure to read it all (the exciting sale lasts for only 30 hours or so more). As always, click on the first picture for more photos, the photos at the end are linked to Flickr.
Post is not entirely Safe For Work.

Five Hot:


Enka Oudou Dai☆Shogun Hatoori Kiriko Ninja Ver. non-scale PVC figure by Yamato

Enka Oudou Dai☆Shogun Hatoori Kiriko Ninja Ver. non-scale PVC figure by Yamato

This is probably the best figure of the week, by far. The face is stunning, very well done lips, great eyes, expression, sculpting… the hair is not bad either. I’m actually happy they toned down the purple of her body-suit. Great creases. Just stunning. Someone wants to buy it for me? :D
Character designed by Shunya Yamashita, which I am hearing I should follow.
January 2010, 340 mm, 11,800 yen. For this size? For this quality? Worth it.
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Ga-Rei Zero: Explosive First Episode. What Then? What do You Mean? It Blew Up!

Yes, that title is way too long. Sue me :)
There will be a certain amount of spoilers.

Ga-Rei Zero had been introduced to me by my friend Andy Kitkowski’s blog. He raved about how crazy the first episode was, so I had to watch.

You know what? It was all that. Heck, it was all that and more! It was spectacular, it was amazing, it was sublime. And it was twenty minutes.

These are NOT the protagonists of the series. Sadly.

These are NOT the protagonists of the series. Sadly.

Ga-Rei Zero is the anime prequel to the manga known as Ga-Rei, the problem is that the manga had not been translated to English, and honestly, most of us have not heard of it. I think this also affected our experience as we’ve known the anime was a prequel, and couldn’t invest ourselves fully, I don’t know for certain, as I did in fact know of the manga’s existence before watching the anime.

The anime’s first episode focuses on a team that kills evil spirits, and then you don’t see them in the rest of the series, which is part of what made that anime so great; they could allow themselves to go all the way, they didn’t have to hold back for the characters’ sake, kind of like George R. R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire series.

The second episode is also cool, we finally get to see the protagonists of the series, and the main villain, and the supporting cast. And they fight, and we find out they used to be friends.

Thus we get to what is the bulk of the series, when we see the characters’ past. Blah blah blah, we loved one another, you were like my big sister, you were like my younger sister, we had to fight monsters together. And perhaps if I came to the series from the manga, already caring for the characters, I’d have loved it. Perhaps if the first episode wasn’t so great (the second was also very good, but compared to the first, it was nothing), I wouldn’t have minded.

These are. The protagonists, that is.

These are. The protagonists, that is.

But the first episode was that great. And I did not care for the characters prior to this anime series, and so I didn’t finish watching the series.
I’ve heard there’s a great paraplegetic fight around the tenth episode, but I didn’t get there.

It’s especially vexing, but I suspect also successful in one regard though, you really want to know about some of the villains, the monsters, butterfly-boy. But for that you’ll probably have to read the manga, so I guess the anime series also was created to draw more readers to the manga.

The art in the series is on the very high end. Character design and technique is very sharp, buildings look good, nature is especially lush and vivid. The monsters look a bit too CGI for me, but I think that may be on purpose.
Kagura, the younger character is especially cute.

The opening song is the same as the ending song, except when it’s played at the end of an episode there’s no art. The art is of good quality, the song has a nice up-beat tempo, and shows you some of the background story which is what most of this anime is (which then leads to the first Yomi-arc of the manga). But, the words matter here, they kinda have in them what this is all about, about betrayal.
Sadly, the YouTube video is like in most cases, lacking translation of the lyrics. The lyrics matter, somewhat.

You know, if the series was actually about the awesome characters in the first episode, I think I’d have liked it more.

Score: First episode: 10/10. Second episode: 8/10. Onward: 6/10? It was ok, but nothing special, and not what I really set out to watch, in the context, maybe even 5/10.
Feel free to watch just the first episode, or the first two, and treat it like an open-ended OVA. Well, the first episode resolves itself, more or less.

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Figure Friday – August 8th to 14th in Review.

Here we are for another Figure Friday. This time there will be less photos, as I’ll try to use “Five Hot – Five Not”, with an additional figure or two.

Also, there were less figures this time around for me to look through, seems a combination of Obon, it not being directly after WonFes Summer 09, and not being the beginning of the month. Comiket 76 is ongoing currently, but I’ve decided to wait with figures from it either to next week, or till when there is an official declaration for them.

Anyway, let us begin (most figures under the cut, due to it being photo heavy). Pictures are not in order of how good or bad they are. Click on the opening photos to go to a page with more photos, usually.
BTW, some pictures are a bit risque.

Five Hot:


Panya season 4: Delight Lucia 1/7 PVC figure by Amiami

Panya season 4: Delight Lucia 1/7 PVC figure by Amiami

Best figure of the week. I really love the detail of her hair, her skirt’s edges might seem a bit too plastic-like, but I wouldn’t know without more photos, her forehead’s slightly big. She is adorable though, cute nice face, cute outfit. And did I mention the hair?
It seems costly for the height, but she’s squatting, and her hair is almost as big as her.
November 2009, 130 mm, 7,800 yen.

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